BEN STOKES faces being banned by England after a video emerged of him punching TWO people in the street.
But he broke a hand in the fight and faces a battle to be fit for the First Test in Australia.
He was arrested for suspected actual bodily harm and released without charge while police investigate.
The video will form a key part of England supremo Andrew Strauss’ probe into the behaviour of Stokes, Alex Hales and up to five team-mates.
Strauss is threatening to fine or suspend players while head coach Trevor Bayliss blasted his team as “unprofessional” and is considering an Ashes curfew.
It is almost inconceivable that Stokes can remain as captain Joe Root’s deputy for the tour and, once ECB chiefs have seen the footage, he could also be fined and suspended.
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As revealed by SunSport, Stokes had an X-ray on Tuesday which revealed a fracture to the side of his right hand just below the little finger.
Medics say the recovery time is around six weeks, meaning he will miss some of the warm-up games but should be fit for the First Test in Brisbane on November 23. Bayliss wants Stokes to remain as vice-captain but accepts punishments might have to be imposed.
He said: “Ben has shown he is a leader within the group when it comes to cricket.
“I’m sure there will be investigations going forward but, at the moment, I’m quite happy for him to be vice-captain.”
When asked if he is happy for his players to be out at 2.35am, Aussie Bayliss replied: “Definitely not.”
He added: “Certainly, we’ll be looking into a curfew.
“I have been with teams before, we’ve had curfews and that doesn’t work, either.
“Whichever way you go, a lot of the responsibility comes back to the players.
“They are adults and they have to take responsibility — they are professionals.
“The other night, a few guys being out in the middle of a series was very unprofessional.”
It is possible the police enquiry might prevent Stokes from going to Australia.
Strauss said: “I don’t think it’s the time to comment on what may or may not happen from a disciplinary point of view.
“What I’m doing is speaking to players individually to get their accounts of what went on. There is a disciplinary protocol in place as part of their conditions of employment and we need to follow that.
“Ben had an X-ray on Tuesday which shows a minor fracture on his right hand. More tests need to be done but the early indications are that he should be fit to play a full part in all the Ashes Tests.
“From a medical point of view, he’ll be in a position to leave with the rest of the squad.”
The ECB released a statement tonight confirming they had seen our exclusive footage.
It read: “We have seen this footage for the first time tonight – when posted by The Sun.
“There is an ongoing Police investigation, which will look at all available evidence, and we do have to respect that process.”